Port charges poised to rise in the wake of court ruling
Council told it must pay to help tackle pension shortfall Ships using Wisbech and Sutton Bridge ports face higher charges after Fenland District Council was told it must find £ 1million to top up the river pilots pension fund.
As the harbour authority for the River Nene from Wisbech to the bar Flat Buoy in the Wash, the council must pay although only one employee is a member of the Pilots National Pension Fund.
The demand comes after a recent court case ruled all authorities which use river pilots must meet a pension fund shortfall of £ 187 million, with Fenland’s share set at £ 1.048 million.
Councillors will be told on Monday that the council may have 10 to 15 years to make the payment at an annual rate of £ 100,000.
The authority is responsible for the safe navigation of ships visiting Wisbech Port and Port Sutton Bridge and uses three self- employed pilots.
A council spokesman said: “The costs of these pilots are recovered through the charges the council levies on ships which use the pilot age service.”
A new level of fees will be discussed by thec ouncil’s overview and scrutiny committee on January 31.
The scene at Wisbech port